Sabbath eve, July 30, 2010
Matt King is playing Gruene Hall tonight and I hope to go, so I’m writing a bit early. Matt’s doing a solo gig, opening for the Gourds. I’ve never seen the Gourds live, but the word is they put on a good show. I know damn well Matt is worth your time. Seems a good thing to support live music, otherwise there won’t be any. Musicians eat too.
We had scattered showers most of last week but the forecast calls for sun and heat for all of next week so we’re back to cutting down grass for hay, the third cutting this season. We’re not selling much hay, but we are selling a little. Hay in the barn is like money in the bank. Better, in a way, because it’s real. Money in the bank isn’t real, but a lie works as good as the truth if you can get enough people to believe it. We have some pretty good liars running the show nowadays, so people keep on believing until the day arrives when they don’t. That day will come, the only question is when.
Two weeks ago, I let the cowboys cull the cow herd because I was busy hauling hay. There was an old cow, kind of a favorite of mine, a red thing with brands all over her body. She stayed a bit poor but I think it’s because she had a touch of milk breed in her lineage. I’ve managed to keep her despite her age, but I forgot to tell the guys. They told me they shipped two cows. I noticed I hadn’t seen her around and looked at the sale sheet. Motley faced red cow. Shit.
I don’t know why her death bothers me more than others would. Guess it seems like sort of a betrayal, but then all the cattle I send to market are betrayed. That’s what the job entails. We gentle the things down so we can kill and eat their offspring until the day comes that they no longer produce offspring and then we kill and eat them also.
Even so, this old cow was the first to come up for feed and she had a way about her, like perhaps she was smarter than the rest. I hope she wasn’t afraid when she died.
If there’s a God in heaven, I’m in need of mercy.
On the other hand, death by old age in a pasture is nothing nice, or at least the getting to that point isn’t.
Speaking of death, Tuesday morning a nineteen year old girl tried to pass on a hill just a couple of miles away from where I live. A gravel truck was coming the other way. The wheels of the trailer sheared off a slice of the car on the driver’s side, killing her instantly.
Take nothing for granted. Not one moment. Life is shorter than you think.
PS. Sabbath morn:
Martin called late yesterday evening. Said he found a calf that hadn't sucked. I was at Matt's show but he brought it over. Teah (a nurse cow) stood for the calf and it sucked.
The calf is a twin, abandoned in favor of a stronger sibling.
Red motely faced heifer.
She sucked again this morning. Some don't have the will to live. This one does.
Life goes on.